ALTHOUGH MANY NATIONS in the global community proclaimed their neutrality during the Second World War, most ultimately leaned toward either the Axis or the Allies for various reasons.
In fact, many of these non-combatant countries were involved in the conflict, some secretly, others more blatant, without officially violating their interpretation of neutrality. Consider the following:
The United States
After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the United States stayed on the sidelines, relying on its own Neutrality Acts — laws passed during the 1930's that banned arms sales and loans to combatants. With the bloodbath of the Great War was still fresh, many American voters and legislators alike were eager to avoid entanglement in yet another European conflict. But after France fell in June, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt convinced Congress to amend many restrictions in the Neutrality Act and the “Lend-Lease” program was born, allowing U.S. aid to Great Britain. The policy was expanded to Russia after the Nazi invasion in June of 1941, as well as any other allies fighting the Axis. The United States officially remained “neutral” until December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.